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The Colours of History

Written by Clive Gifford

Illustrated by Marc-Etienne Peintre

Art and Design Fascinating Facts Featured Books for 7+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers History

LoveReading View on The Colours of History

Winner of the Blue Peter Book Awards 2019, Best Book with Facts |

A fascinating information book, The Colours of History takes readers to different places at different times to show how humans have used colour in art, politics and trade. They’ll learn how indigo, made from plants that grow in Asia, began to be traded round the world in the 15th century, how hundreds of years later it was used to colour a type of cloth in Nîmes, which eventually became known as ‘denim’. It explains how pink has been regarded as a ‘boy colour’ and a ‘girl colour’, and why, in the US in the early 20th century, margarine was pink. And it describes how the discovery of a new mineral in a Russian gold mine transformed Van Gogh’s paintings. It’s an unusual and vivid way to demonstrate how interconnected the world has always been, and mankind’s endless ingenuity too. 

Andrea Reece

Other Info

On his Blue Peter win, author Clive Gifford said:    'To be recognised by a show I watched and loved as a child (and still do as an adult) is a remarkable thing. I’m tickled pink! I want to thank all the children who voted for The Colours of History. And a big thank to BookTrust for the remarkable work they do. Awards like these are so important in getting across how books with facts can tell incredible and important stories and excite, inspire and entertain young minds as much as fiction.'

The Colours of History Synopsis

Why did Roman emperors wear purple? Which colour is made from crushed beetles? What green pigment might be used to build super-fast computers of the future? Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this vibrant exploration of the stories behind different colours, and the roles they've played throughout history.

From black to white, and all the colours in between, every shade has a story to tell. Each colour group is introduced with a stunning and interpretive double-page spread illustration, followed by illustrated entries exploring the `colourful' history of particular shades. With vivid, thought-provoking illustrations and engaging bite-sized text, this book is a feast for the eyes and the mind, ready to enthral budding artists and historians alike.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781784939670
Publication date: 19/04/2018
Publisher: QED Publishing
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781784939670
Publication date: 19th April 2018
Author: Clive Gifford
Illustrator: Marc-Etienne Peintre
Publisher: QED Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 64 pages
Suitable for: 7+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Art, Fascinating Facts, History
Collections: 85 Great Non-Fiction Books,
Other Categories: All Shortlists and Winners

About Clive Gifford

Clive Gifford is an award-winning author of over 200 books specializing in engaging and entertaining non-fiction books for children and young adults. His books have garnered much praise and won Children's Choice, NAPPA Gold Star, TES Book of the Year and Smithsonian awards. Refugees was shortlisted for The British Book Awards whilst Discover the Extreme World was on the four-book shortlist for the 2012 Blue Peter Book Award. In October 2018, Clive won The Sainsbury's Children's Book Award for The Book Of Comparisons. He also won The Blue Peter Book Award 2019 for The Colours of History. With a lifelong interest in geopolitics, ecology ...

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